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The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently loaned several Victor Talking Machine Company-related items to the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts. The items—which include two table-top Victrolas, a recording horn, a metal advertising-sign made in the shape of a record, one side of a Victor shipping crate and a sound-box board—will be featured in the exhibit “Sounds of Camden” that will be on display from Oct. 6 to Dec. 18, 2014 in the Stedman Gallery, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, 314 Linden St., in Camden, N.J.
“Sounds of Camden” will explore the city through its music, poetry and voices from past to present. The exhibit will present examples of Victrolas and phonographs built at the Victor Talking Machine Company factory which was located in the city, as well as visual memorabilia, artifacts and recordings from the company’s vast playlist. The exhibit will also present live performances and recordings that carry historical and contemporary sounds of Camden including poetry by the 19th-century Camden resident Walt Whitman; music recorded in the city; and contemporary compositions, poetry and recorded oral-history.
Core components of the state of Delaware’s collection of Victor-related items are displayed at the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover. The museum highlights the life and achievements of Delaware’s native son, Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. Through phonographs, memorabilia, trademarks, objects and paintings, the museum showcases Johnson, his company and the development of the sound-recording industry.
Curated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the collections of the state of Delaware help to preserve, and hold in public trust, a record of Delaware’s heritage by acquiring objects made in Delaware or used by Delawareans throughout history.